Adventure Club gets grant to continue programs

Kansas Health Foundation recognizes PBHS program

Staff writer

Students who have signed up to be involved in the Peabody-Burns High School Adventure Club received some good news recently from Kansas Health Foundation.

Adventure Club is the recipient of a $4,875 grant to help them pursue their objective of establishing healthy lifestyles through biking and other adventure activities. The club received its first grant from the foundation in 2011.

“It is important to teach a healthy lifestyle to our students,” sponsor Gene Green said. “A healthy lifestyle is one they can continue to live and experience throughout their lives. It is a lifestyle that they can wake up to every day and say, ‘I live the life I love and I love the life I live.’”

Green said the group is primarily a mountain bike club. They ride different off-road trails around the area, such as Miller’s Meadow, east of Wichita, a single-track trail with lots of curves, trees, and ups and downs. The students also ride the trails at East Lake and in North Newton. This year they hope to search out and ride other Kansas trails, including some that are more challenging.

“Even though biking is our primary focus, the club participates in other adventure-based activities, which challenge the students to reach beyond themselves,” he said. “These activities include whitewater rafting and kayaking, rock climbing and rappelling, zip-lining, and hiking into higher mountain areas.”

Since the central Kansas landscape is a bit tame for that type of adventure, the club plans an annual summer trip to Colorado to test their skills and endurance.

This year the students traveled 600 miles to Pagosa Springs, Colo., to kayak through whitewater rapids of the San Juan River and experience the challenge of zip-lining and biking the trails and canyons of the San Juan Mountains. They spent a week learning to push their limits and appreciate their success.

The club is open to high school students and they generally have 12 to 14 students who participate in the rides they schedule during the year. They pick weekends and days off from school so the club doesn’t interfere with classes or other activities.

To be a member, the students are asked to participate in 75 percent of the activities that take place during the school year. Those students who plan to go on the adventure trip to Colorado are required to participate in the fundraising for the trip and to build up their endurance they must ride more often than those who are not going.

“Most of the funds we receive from the KHF goes for the purchase of 16 high-quality Giant Mountain Bikes, helmets, portable bike repair stand, tubes, rims, and any other equipment we need to be safe. The club provides bikes and equipment for students,” Green said. “The grants do not cover any traveling or trip expenses, just equipment.

“The adventure trip and any other activity money comes from the various fundraises the club has throughout the school year,” Green said. “Not only do the kids participate in the fundraising, but the sponsors do also. I admire how willing the students are to work hard at earning the funds needed to take the adventure trip.”

“Each year we are amazed at the incredible projects being done by organizations across Kansas,” KHF CEO said. “This grant program allows us to support these innovative and impactful community initiatives and recognize the groups and individuals them a reality.”

The KHF supports a broad range of health-related organizations throughout the state with the Recognition Grants. The program supports projects or initiatives that fit within the foundation’s mission of improving the health of all Kansans. The foundation allocates up to $2 million each year for the recognition grant program.

“We feel very fortunate that we have twice been recognized with a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation,” said Green. “That says that we are doing something right. To us, biking is part of a healthy lifestyle. Biking promotes and nurtures both physical and emotional health and you have fun doing it. It is something the students here are able to take with them and enjoy for many years to come.”

 

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